Each year as the holiday season approaches, sustainability measures often leave...but you don’t have to put your eco-friendly habits on hold for the last few months of the year! The holidays are a joyous and memorable time for everyone and there are ways for you to incorporate environment friendly tips to ensure that your holiday celebrations are not harming our Earth.
Here are 4 ways that you can be more sustainable this holiday season:
1. Use LED lights
Demands for electricity during the holidays are always at an all-time high with light decorations and heating homes. To reduce the amount of energy in your home, switch out your light bulbs with LED lights and candles. LED’s are 80% more energy efficient than traditional holiday lights, plus you can pair them with automatic timers to set when you want the lights to turn off and on!
2. Use Real Dinnerware
Most of us hate clean-up duty, but if you’re trying to cut back on waste, using real dinnerware is a great way of doing just that. According to Virginia Tech’s sustainability director Nathan King, "Americans throw away 25% more trash during the holidays than other times of the year, which end up in our landfills at best or polluting waterways at worst." Avoid the heaping loads of trash this year and bring out your real dinnerware when hosting your friends and family! Also be sure to save your leftovers in tupperware containers or send your guests home with a plate of food to minimize food waste.
3. Use Alternative Wrapping Paper
Holiday themed wrapping paper looks fun and cute, but let’s be honest - who actually remembers the wrapping of their gifts? Traditional wrapping paper usually can’t be recycled because of the dyes and inks, so get creative with your wrapping by using things you might have laying around the house! Some popular ways are using old newspapers or butcher paper because those can be recycled down.
4. Give Eco-Friendly Gifts
A great way to increase your sustainability measures is by inspiring others to do the same! It doesn’t have to be boring gifts, just think outside the box and your friends and family will be thrilled with the thoughtfulness behind your gift. If they like the outdoors, gift them a reusable water bottle. Are they always baking and cooking? Get them a reusable baking mat that replaces parchment paper. There are all sorts of gifts that will show you care about your loved ones and the environment.